Kudos to Sun Valley Co. and Mountain Manager Peter Stearns for a reasonable and generous policy on uphill hiking and “skinning” on Bald Mountain.
The policy permitting uphill traffic outside the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. downhill ski window allows for safe uphill usage, eliminates conflict with downhill skiers and preserves an out-of-this-world winter exercise and outdoor experience. The new hours will cause many people to change their routines, but it’s a small price to pay for the unique opportunity of winter access.
Heading up after 4 p.m.? If you’re hiking, you can get to the top just as daylight runs out. You’ll descend by moonlight, starlight, headlamp or the glow of the jewel-like town below. If you’re a skier or boarder, you’ll turn around sooner while there’s still light on the slopes, but nonetheless, you can get a darned good run in.
As for mornings: Set your alarm and the world’s your oyster. Start out with stars overhead and Jupiter making its morning passage over Baldy. Arrive on top with gleaming mountains surrounding you and sunrise in your eyes.
You’ll wonder why you ever wanted to be on the mountain any other time.